Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 2010. International WOW Company, HBO Documentary Films. Screenplay by Josh Fox. Produced by Trish Adlesic, Josh Fox, Molly Gandour. Music by Susan Jacobs, Jackie Mulhearn. Film Editing by Matthew Sanchez.
In this astonishing documentary, director Josh Fox records his experiences with giant energy corporations after being informed that his land was rich with natural gas and that he had the opportunity to lease it out for the purposes of drilling. Travelling the country and visiting other communities where this has happened, however, reveals a horrific situation to him: people all over America are suffering the effects of contaminated water thanks to “fracking”, a method of hydraulic drilling that has released oil into countless water supplies. Conveniently, the companies responsible for making this happen, and causing the devastating illnesses of thousands of people, have managed to avoid taking responsibility, but you’ll know genuine shock when you see a man light his tap water on fire. It’s the best expose-style documentary in years, terrifying and fascinating at the same time, and probably the best filmed record of corporate greed since the Enron documentary. Fox does a terrific job of keeping it personal without ever getting into sentimental territory.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Feature